Kasperi Kapanen
Image: KalPa

Kasperi Kapanen

Hometown:

Kuopio Finland

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1996-07-23

Position:

RW

Eligible for draft:

2014

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2014

Height:

5-10

Acquired:

1st round (22nd overall), 2014

Weight:

165 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2010-11: Kasperi Kapanen played for KalPa Kuopio’s U16 team as a 14-year-old and attended the Pohjola Camp for the top young players in Finland. He scored 14 goals with 8 assists and had 10 penalty minutes in 26 U16 games.

2011-12: Kapanen scored at nearly a point-per-game pace for KalPa’s U18 team and was among the leading scorers for Finland’s U16 team. He scored 13 goals with 11 assists and had 6 penalty minutes in 27 games, including two playoff contests, for the Kuopio club. Kapanen and KalPa teammate Miikka Pitkanen scored 11 goals each to lead Finland’s U16 team and Kapanen had 6 assists; finishing +11 with 20 penalty minutes in 13 international games. Skating for Finland in the 2011 Europe Youth Olympic Games tournament he scored 4 goals with 2 assists and was +3 with 2 penalty minutes in six games.

2012-13: Kapanen made his SM-Liiga debut in December 2012 — joining his father, former NHLer Sami Kapanen, in the KalPa Kuopio lineup —and was one of the top scorers for KalPa’s junior team. He represented Finland in three international tournaments, the 2012 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August, the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship, and the 2013 U17 World Hockey Challenge in Canada. Kapanen scored 4 goals and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes; averaging 11 minutes of ice time in 13 regular season SM-Liiga games. In four playoff games he had 1 assist and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes. He played 36 games for the KalPa U20 team, scoring 14 goals with 15 assists, and was -3 with 16 penalty minutes. Kapanen played 13 games for Finland in the two U18 tournaments, scoring 9 goals with 5 assists, and was +7 with 6 penalty minutes. In five games at the WHC he scored 3 goals with 6 assists and had 4 penalty minutes.

2013-14: Kapanen assumed a full-time role for KalPa in Finland’s re-christened Liiga and was named to Finland’s U20 team that captured a gold medal at the 2014 World Junior Championship. Kapanen, shuffling between the second and third lines for KalPa and at times skating with leading scorer Arturri Lehkonen (MON), scored 5 goals with 5 assists and was an even plus/minus after 35 games heading into February; missing time in mid-season with a shoulder injury that kept him out of the WJC. Kapanen is the top ranked European skater in Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings prior to the 2014 NHL Draft.

 

 

Talent Analysis

Kasperi Kapanen plays a cerebral game with the skills and speed to allow him to make the proper plays in all situations and make the players around him better. While not over whelming from a physical standpoint and with room to continue growing, his hockey sense is on par with the other top players in his age group and he maximizes his talents to get the best out of his game.

 

Future

Like other top Finnish prospects Aleksander Barkov (FLA) and defenseman Risto Ristolainen (BUF), Kapanen has played in Finland's elite league as a teenager and shown the ability to compete and have success against players that are bigger and older. Though the physical elements of North American hockey and the size and strength of NHL players will be a challenge for him, Kapanen has a rare combination of skill and hockey IQ that put him among the better forward prospects in his age group.

 

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